Discussion:
Completely OT
(too old to reply)
Sid Nuncius
2017-10-01 09:12:28 UTC
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This is utterly random and contains an un-umratic word in the quote
below, but I thought a lot of umrats might like it anyway. Rosie has
drawn my attention to a book entitled How Not to Write a Novel: 200
Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them - A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide by
Mittelmark and Newman. I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it), but I'm tempted
to read the book after seeing this quote, which made me laugh out loud:

“...This particular blunder is known as deus ex machina, which is French
for "Are you fucking kidding me?”

Er...that's it.
--
Sid (Make sure Matron is away when you reply)
BrritSki
2017-10-01 09:22:37 UTC
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...   I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at everything
else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once you found
something you wanted to write.
l***@gmail.com
2017-10-01 09:41:24 UTC
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Post by BrritSki
...   I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at everything
else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once you found
something you wanted to write.
Wot 'e sed.
Jim Easterbrook
2017-10-01 09:43:33 UTC
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Post by l***@gmail.com
Post by BrritSki
... I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at everything
else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once you found
something you wanted to write.
Wot 'e sed.
Wot she said.
--
Jim <http://www.jim-easterbrook.me.uk/>
1959/1985? M B+ G+ A L- I- S- P-- CH0(p) Ar++ T+ H0 Q--- Sh0
Sid Nuncius
2017-10-01 09:49:15 UTC
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Post by BrritSki
...   I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at everything
else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once you found
something you wanted to write.
I tried once. I had what I still think is a decent idea for a Young
Adults book, planned out the structure pretty well and wrote a couple of
chapters. They were awful. I mean, really awful. What was realistic,
involving and sometimes witty in my head came out on the page as clunky,
stilted, unconvincing and very unfunny. In the past I incautiously
agreed to review a few unpublished or self-published novels, which were,
almost without exception, pretty terrible. Mine was just as bad, if not
worse.

I just don't think I'm cut out for it. I was never much good at it in
English lessons at school, either. Nowadays, I can usually write fairly
competent factual or argumentative stuff and one or two of my poems have
some merit, I think [1] but novels or short stories? Nope.

[1]One of them was published in a proper anthology a few years ago under
my real name, of course. The Index of Authors reads:
Larkin, Philip
Lawrence, D.H.
Nuncius, Sid (IYSWIM)

I have to say that the work of Messrs Larkin and Lawrence was of a very
considerably higher standard than mine, but it made me smile, nonetheless.
--
Sid (Make sure Matron is away when you reply)
Vicky
2017-10-01 10:38:40 UTC
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On Sun, 1 Oct 2017 10:49:15 +0100, Sid Nuncius
Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by BrritSki
...   I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at everything
else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once you found
something you wanted to write.
I tried once. I had what I still think is a decent idea for a Young
Adults book, planned out the structure pretty well and wrote a couple of
chapters. They were awful. I mean, really awful. What was realistic,
involving and sometimes witty in my head came out on the page as clunky,
stilted, unconvincing and very unfunny. In the past I incautiously
agreed to review a few unpublished or self-published novels, which were,
almost without exception, pretty terrible. Mine was just as bad, if not
worse.
I tried too. I sailed with Capt Ex for 4 years and besides learning to
play cribbage and to crochet and taking a course or two vid the
Seafarers' Education Service, I thought the ideal occupation would be
to become the author of best sellers :).

I tried to write a Mills and bonk. I thought that, as the standard
didn't seem that hight, it must be easy. Sadly it wasn't I showed a
friend the first 3 chapters and she said they didn't wait long enough
to get started. I was writing about a world I knew and was living in,
a wife on a Shell tanker, but the every day stuff wasn't a good read.

I found the folder with it in some years later and it was still
rubbish. I am better at criticising than writing. " man must serve
his time to every trade save censure, critics all are ready made."
And I loved English at school and did it for A Level and first year at
university.
Post by Sid Nuncius
I just don't think I'm cut out for it. I was never much good at it in
English lessons at school, either. Nowadays, I can usually write fairly
competent factual or argumentative stuff and one or two of my poems have
some merit, I think [1] but novels or short stories? Nope.
[1]One of them was published in a proper anthology a few years ago under
Larkin, Philip
Lawrence, D.H.
Nuncius, Sid (IYSWIM)
I have to say that the work of Messrs Larkin and Lawrence was of a very
considerably higher standard than mine, but it made me smile, nonetheless.
--
Vicky
l***@gmail.com
2017-10-01 11:29:14 UTC
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Post by Vicky
On Sun, 1 Oct 2017 10:49:15 +0100, Sid Nuncius
Post by BrritSki
...   I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at everything
else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once you found
something you wanted to write.
snipped to context....
Post by Vicky
I tried to write a Mills and bonk. I thought that, as the standard
didn't seem that hight, it must be easy. Sadly it wasn't I showed a
friend the first 3 chapters and she said they didn't wait long enough
to get started. I was writing about a world I knew and was living in,
a wife on a Shell tanker, but the every day stuff wasn't a good read.
There is a formula to M&B but discerning it is the challenge ..... I am told.

I write. I write radio plays that are performed live. But I raise money for charity through them, so it doesn't quite count as: "I am a writer" in a professional sense. I used to do this as a part of themed weekends for Hilton Hotel Group. These were paid. Genre is faction I think - sort of literary/historical dramatisations based on fact. I enjoy the research but hate the writing. Without the latter I wouldn't bother with the former. So terrifying waiting for audience response at a first performance.
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2017-10-01 13:47:13 UTC
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In message <***@4ax.com>, Vicky
<***@gmail.com> writes:
[]
Post by Vicky
I tried to write a Mills and bonk. I thought that, as the standard
didn't seem that hight, it must be easy. Sadly it wasn't I showed a
friend the first 3 chapters and she said they didn't wait long enough
to get started. I was writing about a world I knew and was living in,
a wife on a Shell tanker, but the every day stuff wasn't a good read.
[]
Back when That's Life was running, they did a series - ah, the title's
come back at me: "In at the deep end" - in which the two young males
attempted things completely outside their experience (and one sensed,
their comfort zone). I think it was a separate prog., rather than part
of That's Life. Anyway, one of the things Paul Heiney [ITIW him]
attempted was just that - a Mills and Boone. It did go through what is
involved. I think he did eventually get one published (under a
pseudonym, of course), though whether that was partly influenced by the
prog., it's hard to tell (from what I remember, it did show meetings, so
M&B knew what was happening), and I don't _think_ he did any more.

If by "they didn't wait long enough to get started" you are referring to
the bonking, that's _very_ hard to do (I mean deciding on the wait; the
bonking itself may or may not be - there are the "bad sex awards", and
avoid references to pencil erasers!); in actual pornography, too much
external detail gets in the way, but in something like a M&B, there
probably _does_ need to be some, but how much is difficult.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

As individuals, politicians are usually quite charming, so it is quite hard to
dislike them, but in most cases, it is worth making the effort.
- Mark Williams (UMRA), 2013-4-26
Nick Odell
2017-10-01 15:51:12 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
[]
Post by Vicky
I tried to write a Mills and bonk. I thought that, as the standard
didn't seem that hight, it must be easy. Sadly it wasn't I showed a
friend the first 3 chapters and she said they didn't wait long enough
to get started. I was writing about a world I knew and was living in,
a wife on a Shell tanker, but the every day stuff wasn't a good read.
[]
Back when That's Life was running, they did a series - ah, the title's
come back at me: "In at the deep end" - in which the two young males
attempted things completely outside their experience (and one sensed,
their comfort zone). I think it was a separate prog., rather than part
of That's Life. Anyway, one of the things Paul Heiney [ITIW him]
attempted was just that - a Mills and Boone. It did go through what is
involved. I think he did eventually get one published (under a
pseudonym, of course), though whether that was partly influenced by the
prog., it's hard to tell (from what I remember, it did show meetings, so
M&B knew what was happening), and I don't _think_ he did any more.
If by "they didn't wait long enough to get started" you are referring to
the bonking, that's _very_ hard to do (I mean deciding on the wait; the
bonking itself may or may not be - there are the "bad sex awards", and
avoid references to pencil erasers!); in actual pornography, too much
external detail gets in the way, but in something like a M&B, there
probably _does_ need to be some, but how much is difficult.
A mention in the recent birthday listings and sight of a copy of Golden
Witchbreed reminded me that an umrat who hasn't been very active very
recently has written the occasional bonkbuster.

I bought one at the time and the -erme- action began right there on the
first page.

....but IIRC[1] it turn out that was only a dream.

So that's all right then.

Nick
[1]I don't have it any more[2]
[2]Or if I do have it, I've no idea where it is
John Ashby
2017-10-01 16:01:39 UTC
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Post by Nick Odell
Nick
[1]I don't have it any more[2]
[2]Or if I do have it, I've no idea where it is
How like Life!

john
Sally Thompson
2017-10-01 11:31:40 UTC
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Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by BrritSki
...   I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at everything
else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once you found
something you wanted to write.
I tried once. I had what I still think is a decent idea for a Young
Adults book, planned out the structure pretty well and wrote a couple of
chapters. They were awful. I mean, really awful. What was realistic,
involving and sometimes witty in my head came out on the page as clunky,
stilted, unconvincing and very unfunny. In the past I incautiously
agreed to review a few unpublished or self-published novels, which were,
almost without exception, pretty terrible. Mine was just as bad, if not
worse.
I just don't think I'm cut out for it. I was never much good at it in
English lessons at school, either. Nowadays, I can usually write fairly
competent factual or argumentative stuff and one or two of my poems have
some merit, I think [1] but novels or short stories? Nope.
[1]One of them was published in a proper anthology a few years ago under
Larkin, Philip
Lawrence, D.H.
Nuncius, Sid (IYSWIM)
I have to say that the work of Messrs Larkin and Lawrence was of a very
considerably higher standard than mine, but it made me smile, nonetheless.
I was startled (not knowing your real name) when I started to read your
post since it sounded as though your real name was Philip Larkin.
--
Sally in Shropshire, UK
Mike
2017-10-01 15:54:56 UTC
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Post by Sally Thompson
Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by BrritSki
...   I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at everything
else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once you found
something you wanted to write.
I tried once. I had what I still think is a decent idea for a Young
Adults book, planned out the structure pretty well and wrote a couple of
chapters. They were awful. I mean, really awful. What was realistic,
involving and sometimes witty in my head came out on the page as clunky,
stilted, unconvincing and very unfunny. In the past I incautiously
agreed to review a few unpublished or self-published novels, which were,
almost without exception, pretty terrible. Mine was just as bad, if not
worse.
I just don't think I'm cut out for it. I was never much good at it in
English lessons at school, either. Nowadays, I can usually write fairly
competent factual or argumentative stuff and one or two of my poems have
some merit, I think [1] but novels or short stories? Nope.
[1]One of them was published in a proper anthology a few years ago under
Larkin, Philip
Lawrence, D.H.
Nuncius, Sid (IYSWIM)
I have to say that the work of Messrs Larkin and Lawrence was of a very
considerably higher standard than mine, but it made me smile, nonetheless.
I was startled (not knowing your real name) when I started to read your
post since it sounded as though your real name was Philip Larkin.
Well, if that’s the case, his parents really did ‘muck’ him up, for he has
a different surname to them!
--
Toodle Pip
BrritSki
2017-10-01 11:51:00 UTC
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Post by Sid Nuncius
[1]One of them was published in a proper anthology a few years ago under
Larkin, Philip
Lawrence, D.H.
Nuncius, Sid (IYSWIM)
I have to say that the work of Messrs Larkin and Lawrence was of a very
considerably higher standard than mine, but it made me smile, nonetheless.
Funnily enough waife is decanting the wine off the Nuncius as I write !
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2017-10-01 13:38:46 UTC
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Post by Sid Nuncius
Post by BrritSki
...   I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at
everything else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once
you found something you wanted to write.
I was going to agree with the other three: I usually enjoy what you
write, not only for the good use of language, but the clear thinking.
But if you say ...
Post by Sid Nuncius
I tried once. I had what I still think is a decent idea for a Young
Adults book, planned out the structure pretty well and wrote a couple
of chapters. They were awful. I mean, really awful. What was
realistic, involving and sometimes witty in my head came out on the
page as clunky, stilted, unconvincing and very unfunny. In the past I
incautiously agreed to review a few unpublished or self-published
novels, which were, almost without exception, pretty terrible. Mine
was just as bad, if not worse.
I just don't think I'm cut out for it. I was never much good at it in
... then fiction _maybe_ isn't your thing - _I_ certainly wouldn't, I
think, care for it. A _possible_ starting point might be
semi-autobiography: change names and events (and/or the sequence of
events), but base it on your real experience. If, you think, that is,
that your life (or, better, part of it; gotta keep some back for use
later!) has been interesting. And, though many - possibly most - of us
would say it hasn't, get people started on recounting their life (or
parts of it), and they do get going.
Post by Sid Nuncius
English lessons at school, either. Nowadays, I can usually write
I hated blank-page things like that, too. For that matter, I hate
role-playing at work (in training sessions and the like); fortunately,
that seems to have fallen _a little_ out of favour lately (probably not
least because of its wicked sending-up in various comedies [I imagine
W1A has a fair bit, though I've not seen any of W1A]).
Post by Sid Nuncius
fairly competent factual or argumentative stuff and one or two of my
More than fairly, IMO.
[]
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

As individuals, politicians are usually quite charming, so it is quite hard to
dislike them, but in most cases, it is worth making the effort.
- Mark Williams (UMRA), 2013-4-26
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2017-10-01 13:49:19 UTC
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In message <r1iKvPIm$***@soft255.demon.co.uk>, "J. P. Gilliver
(John)" <G6JPG-***@255soft.uk> writes:
[]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
... then fiction _maybe_ isn't your thing - _I_ certainly wouldn't, I
think, care for it. A _possible_ starting point might be semi-
[]
Just reading that back, I realised it could be misinterpreted: I mean I
wouldn't care to attempt to write fiction, not that I wouldn't like Sid
Nuncius fiction!
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

"Dook, that was great but I think the line needs
awe. Can you do it again, giving it just a little awe?"

"Sure, George," said Wayne and looking up at the cross said:
"Aw, truly this man is the son of God."
(recounted in Radio Times, 30 March-5 April 2013.)
John Ashby
2017-10-01 13:58:21 UTC
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Post by BrritSki
...   I have no intention of trying to write a novel
(I'm *rubbish* at fiction, but at least I realise it)...
I find that very difficult to believe. You write very well at
everything else and I'm sure you'd be just as good at fiction once you
found something you wanted to write.
I tried once.  I had what I still think is a decent idea for a Young
Adults book, planned out the structure pretty well and wrote a couple of
chapters.  They were awful.  I mean, really awful.  What was realistic,
involving and sometimes witty in my head came out on the page as clunky,
stilted, unconvincing and very unfunny.  In the past I incautiously
agreed to review a few unpublished or self-published novels, which were,
almost without exception, pretty terrible.  Mine was just as bad, if not
worse.
Anyone can write, writers re-write. If you can see it's wrong, and even
more so if you can see *what*'s wrong, you're ahead of the game.

john
Penny
2017-10-01 14:29:57 UTC
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On Sun, 1 Oct 2017 14:58:21 +0100, John Ashby <***@yahoo.com>
scrawled in the dust...
Post by John Ashby
Anyone can write, writers re-write. If you can see it's wrong, and even
more so if you can see *what*'s wrong, you're ahead of the game.
And then a publisher needs to consider what is sellable and an editor will
suggest what needs expanding or contracting to polish things up.

Good editors seem to be a dying breed or perhaps publishers become greedy
when they know they have a best seller on their hands and would rather
sling out a bloated, repetitive tome than pay someone to make a decent book
of it <sigh>.
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Nick Odell
2017-10-01 16:16:22 UTC
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Post by Penny
scrawled in the dust...
Post by John Ashby
Anyone can write, writers re-write. If you can see it's wrong, and even
more so if you can see *what*'s wrong, you're ahead of the game.
And then a publisher needs to consider what is sellable and an editor will
suggest what needs expanding or contracting to polish things up.
Good editors seem to be a dying breed or perhaps publishers become greedy
when they know they have a best seller on their hands and would rather
sling out a bloated, repetitive tome than pay someone to make a decent book
of it <sigh>.
One should never underestimate the benefit of a good editor. I was
closely acquainted with the moderately successful writer of pony books
who was the daughter of a journalist who wrote on country matters who
himself was a moderately successful writer of animal-oriented books for
children. Her daughter (are you still with me?) decided that she could
do it too but didn't see the point in editors and all that. I bet you've
never heard of her - except maybe as a contributor to the biographies of
the other two.

Nick
krw
2017-10-02 22:13:28 UTC
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Post by Sid Nuncius
“...This particular blunder is known as deus ex machina, which is French
for "Are you fucking kidding me?”
Is that how most TA scripts are written?
--
Kosmo Richard W
www.travelswmw.whitnet.uk
tiny.cc/KRWpics
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